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Avalanche/Kings Notebook

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Hejduk Hits 20

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Milestones must be commonplace to Milan Hejduk at this point.

The veteran became the all-time scoring leader at Pepsi Center in late October and then more recently skated in his 900th career game (and also scored the shootout winner) on Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

On Saturday afternoon against the Los Angeles Kings, the winger netted his 20th goal of the season at the 18:21 mark of the second period when he took a Paul Stastny feed and deposited a wrister past Jonathan Quick from the low slot. The 20-goal plateau is a nice achievement for most any player, but it’s just the norm for Hejduk.

It marked the 11st consecutive season that he has scored at least 20 goals, which ties Joe Sakic’s franchise record. Hejduk’s run of 11 straight is tied for the second-longest active stretch in the league behind Calgary’s Jarome Iginla (12 straight, including this season). Marian Hossa has also reached the 20-goal mark in 11 consecutive campaigns.

Belle Debuts
Defenseman Shawn Belle, who was acquired at this year’s trade deadline from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for blueliner Kevin Montgomery, made his Avalanche debut today against the Kings.

Belle was recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League on Friday. In eight games with the Monsters following the trade, he has posted three points (1g/2a) and six penalty minutes.

The Edmonton native was originally selected by the St. Louis Blues in the first round (30th overall) at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-1, 235-pound blueliner had appeared in 16 career NHL games prior to today with the Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton, totaling one assist.

Belle became the 15th different defenseman to play in a game for Colorado this season.

Olver, Wilson Traveling
Although the Avalanche lost forward Mark Olver (head) and defenseman Ryan Wilson (knee) to injuries during Thursday’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, there was some positive news on both players.

Olver and Wilson were both held out of today’s contest, but the good news is they are traveling with the team, so the injuries likely are of the short-term nature.

Olver was knocked out of the game midway through the first period after being on the receiving end of a big open-ice hit by Toronto defenseman Mike Komisarek. The rookie winger tried to crawl back to the bench after the hit, but could only make it to the bench door before being attended to by Avalanche head athletic trainer Matt Sokolowski on the ice.

Wilson, meanwhile, sustained a knee injury in the second period of that same game and did not come out for the final frame.

In addition, blueliners Matt Hunwick (back) and Adam Foote (leg) both remain day-to-day with their respective ailments, but are also on the trip. The Avalanche will now take a short bus trip south to get to Anaheim, where they will face the Ducks on Monday night before flying back to Denver for a Thursday evening tilt against the Nashville Predators.

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